Some people feel more or less homesick when abroad, I only mostly miss my family and friends and Vitamix. Okay, forest berries too and way more affordable fish than here, but I’ll survive without. When I left Finland, my intention was to stay away from Finnish people (besides the friends who I met in Bali), and hang out with local and/or international people as much as possible. I don’t really understand going to the other side of the word to only speak your own language, like so many backpackers do. Until now I had only spoken Finnish to my cousin in May, and a few awkward words in a coffee event here in Melbourne where Finnish coffee and pastries were sold. But social media brought me and Anna together.
Anna found me on Instagram, sent me a message and we hang out a good while yesterday: long enough to walk from the city to Prahran and back to have tea. After first awkward Finnish words I found out we have a lot in common: more than with anyone I think. This is a good thing, and very refreshing, to have someone who understandands exactly what you’re going through and how you feel. Anna was brave enough to do her farm work like a good girl, so she can stay for another year whereas I am still trying to get my shit together and avoid the 3 months in the bush. Plans B, C and D are brewing, we’ll see what happens. In the meanwhile…
Exactly 6 months ago I was packing my life in boxes, laughing at the Helsinki rain that was almost constant, waiting eagerly to get to Bali. I said countless goodbyes and “see you next year”, thinking I’d quickly visit California and be back home in February. Little did I now, half year later friends are asking me if I am coming back. I am in Sydney, packing my (hand)back to go on a road trip! These past 4 days in Sydney have been as gloomy (weather-wise) as I would’ve expected maybe in Finland, but not in Bondi beach! Life is weird; I definitely would not have expected half of the things I’ve experienced, seen, opportunities and people who have just come up. This definitely happen for a reason, and going with the flow is the best way of making sure you get the most out of things.
Bali: surfing, scooter driving, farm visits, scuba diving, fresh fruits.
Vietnam: People and hassle, cacao, river trip, fresh spring rolls.
Cambodia: Scuba diving, meditation and yoga, poor people and begging children.
Australia: Work, people, culture, conversations, future. Things just keep on coming up, there’s no way I’d go work in a farm for 3 months because there is so much happening right here, right now.
I still have one protein bar in my backpack that I brought with me from Finland. I think I’ll keep it, as a memory of my trip; when I left Helsinki, I think I had like 10 of those bars with me. Let’s see if one makes it back to where it left from.
Less than a week to go until Bali. 5 days, in fact. I have successfully (finally) presented my thesis in school, done all my shifts at the restaurant, and said “if I don’t see you anymore, see you next year” countless times. Last weekend we had a joint farewell party with a friend who is also going to the same continent, and it was a blast! I baked a lot, got very good feedback for everything, and got plenty of hugs. Luckily at Sunday brunch I realized I still have one more weekend to go and say more goodbyes. I hate saying goodbye.
Luckily I won’t be away for too long, and most likely I will be reluctant on coming back! Probably everything will be somewhat the same here, though not quite – I need to find a home sooner or later, yet again.
Last week I let my mom buy me tons of different possibly essential medications for the trip, and now I also have a cool head lamp! Who knows when the lights go out and there’s no electricity and there’s dogs with rabies chasing me – I can now protect myself! I still haven’t tested my backpack and I still don’t have booked the flight tickets back, only to Vietnam on Jan 2nd. The plan is to go from Ho Chi Minh to Cambodia via Mekong Delta, and then fly to Germany for Biofach expo. We’ll see how that will all sort out…
Quality time and quality food make leaving in style worth all the hassle of trying to remember and foresee all the things I might need and the things I definitely will not need and should leave behind. Hard to tell in advance, but besides the arsenal of (mostly diarrhea) medicine I have packed 4 pairs of shorts, 1 sandals and flip-flops, one hat and some tops. Maybe 3 long sleeve shirts, put them all on for the plane.
I am beyond excited to go and discover what it is I will do on my trip – every time someone asks, I wonder the same question myself. Maybe I’ll work, maybe I’ll surf, I don’t know quite yet. In a few months I’ll tell you!
Fill in the blank: I like being a grown-up because …
… I can substitute the whole days’ meals with desserts and protein bars, and no one can have a say in it. That’s what I did – all it took was a rainy day and a fierce workout to get me in the sweet mood.
Yesterday the fall came with rage – you might know the type of rain that seems to tear your insides out, leaving you just soaking and freezing. That’s far from the sweet, refreshing summer rain, but that’s how it sometimes is here in Finland. Today it even snowed in some parts of the country, luckily not here though. With this rain, you just want to stay indoors, and at least I have the munchies.
Blending berries with chia and topping it with bunch of stuff usually never fails. My favorite blend is chia, lingonberries, maca and some other powders (protein) and some stevia. Topped with coconut, sprouted buckwheat and freeze dried raspberries. Nom.
Yeah, so. The point of this all was to say that the fall is coming here and to be honest, it’s pretty shitty. BUT: all things are so much better when you can replace lunch with the pancakes in the first picture, and have something like the bottom picture for dessert. And lick the peanut butter jar empty. AND know that after the rain, eventually you can go out again to the fresh air. And if it’s not enough consolation, you can just go to Bali.
Friends – I am still alive! Almost a year without writing here, since I have been (pretty inactively) writing elsewhere. But now it’s time to rise from my ashes and face new adventures! I have booked flights to my next destination, so I feel like I have something to share again. Not that life in Helsinki has been boring, no way! So much has happened during the previous 10 months, I am actually leaving this city with warm thoughts and feeling at home. Though I don’t have a home. So my home IS where my heart is, ha!
I have gotten rid of most of my material possessions; all I have left now is a lamp, Vitamix, coffee grinder and aeropress. Minimalism rules! I moved to my last temporary apartment last weekend, and I did it with a bike. 5 rounds back and forth, that’s all.
This summer has been weird, awesome, fast and hot, filled with laughter, baking, coffee and friends, just to name a few. I enjoyed a brief holiday at the cottage (!!), eating 15kg of strawberries, and went to Tallinn for lunch.
What else…lots of great things happened, I think I also learnt something, not yet quite sure what. Yesterday I learned that women can’t dunk in basketball. Go figure.
Oh, Helsinki. I will miss you (your people, at least!) during my Asian explorations. But no worries, I will come back.